Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
What to Expect During Amy’s Classes: While I promise to give my all in each class, I am always striving to be better. My classes will deliver high energy, individualized instruction, modifications for all levels of fitness, badass tunes, and deep stretching or foam rolling at the end of class.
Favorite Quote: I went sky diving in New Zealand and their tagline was “Embrace Your Fears”. That quote speaks volumes to me on a daily basis!
Outside ENRGi: Snow skiing, hiking in the mountains, traveling, and spending quality time with my husband and 4 dogs (2 Samoyeds, Biewer Yorkie, & Bernese Mountain Dog).
Guilty Pleasure: Craft beer and Pinot Noir
Learn more about ENRGi’s roots and Amy’s journey to evolve ENRGi!
Improving your running form will allow you to run faster, more efficiently and more comfortably, with less stress and a lower risk of injury. The correct form of running reduces fatigue and guarantees maximum performance from running. Follow these tips to work on improving your form.
Tip 1. Look ahead
Don’t look at your feet. Your eyes should be focused on the ground about 3-6 meters in front of you. This is not only correct, but also safe, because it improves the view and helps to avoid falling.
Do you tilt your head forward when you run? This puts a lot of strain on the neck and shoulder muscles, which can lead to tension. To make sure that you don’t tilt your head while running, hold it so that your ears are directly above your shoulders.
Tip 2. Keep your hands at waist level
Try to keep your hands at waist level, about where they can lightly touch your thighs. Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Some beginners tend to keep their hands high against their chests, especially when they are tired.
In fact, you can get even more tired by holding your arms in this way, and you will feel even more tension in your shoulders and neck.
Tip 3. Relax your palms
While running, keep your palms as relaxed as possible. Do not clench your hands into fists. If you squeeze your hands, the tension will move from there up your arms to your shoulders and neck. A relaxed fist is perfect: imagine holding an egg in each hand that you don’t want to break.
Tip 4. Check your posture
Keep your head straight, your back straight, and don’t tilt your shoulders. Make sure you don’t lean forward or back at waist level, as some runners do when they’re tired.
Check your posture from time to time. When you get tired at the end of a run, you may start slouching, which can lead to pain in your neck, shoulder, and lower back. When you feel that you are slouching, push out your chest. Keeping fit at the end of a run is important for fighting fatigue.
Tip 5. Relax your shoulders
Your shoulders should be relaxed and straight (looking forward), not hunched. Deflecting the shoulders too far forward leads to narrowing of the chest and restriction of breathing. You will breathe much easier if your shoulders are relaxed.
Make sure that your shoulders do not rise high. If this happens, squeeze the shoulder blades on your back as if they are elevator doors that you need to close. Hold them in this position and allow your shoulders to drop.
Periodically check the position of your shoulders to make sure they remain relaxed. If you find yourself lifting your shoulders again, repeat the shoulder blade compression maneuver.
Tip 6. Keep your hands at your sides
Avoid swinging your arms from side to side. If your arms are crossed over your chest, you are most likely slouching, which means that you are not breathing very efficiently. Ineffective or shallow breathing can lead to abdominal cramps.
When runners get tired or tense, their arms start moving up to their shoulders. If you notice this happening, lower your hands and shake them. Pull your shoulders back and relax, placing your arms at a 90-degree angle.
Tip 7. Move your hands in your shoulders
Your arms should swing back and forth from the shoulder joint, not the elbow joint. Think of your hand as a pendulum that swings back and forth from your shoulder. Pull your elbow back and then turn it back towards you.
Your hands should move at your sides. If they begin to cross your chest as you move, they will begin to rise to your shoulders, and you will find that you are hunched over. Hunched over, it’s hard to breathe. Keep your hands at your sides parallel to each other.
Imagine a vertical line dividing your body in half — your hands should move parallel to this line.
Tip 8. Don’t jump up
If you jump while running, you spend a lot of energy. The higher you rise above the ground, the more impact you have to withstand when landing, and the faster your legs get tired.
To minimize bounce and save energy, run lightly and land gently on your feet. Take short, light steps, as if you are stepping on hot coals.
Some experts say that each foot should touch the ground about 90 times a minute. This dynamic is sustained by the most effective runners. Shortening the step increases the pace.
Change the step frequency in small periods. At first, it will be unusual. As you get used to it, you will be able to increase the time of such periods.
Optimize your shape to prevent injuries
If you are still struggling with problems related to poor running form, analyze your gait. A physical therapist can help with this. If the analysis reveals problems with the form, you need to take measures to correct your technique, avoid unnecessary stress and injuries.
If you experience pain while running, this is another reason to consult your doctor or physical therapist. They will help you properly assess your health, check for possible injuries, and give you the right recommendations.